Poison The Parish

Written by: PP on 07/09/2017 22:14:24

Back in the early to mid 2000s, post-grunge was all the rage and bands like Saliva, Smile Empty Soul, and Staind were the shit, dominating especially the BillBoard modern rock charts overseas but also making waves on the radio over here. Most of these bands have either disappeared completely or are but a shade of their former glory, but Seether has always stayed true to writing straight up rock music, even if the last couple of albums have featured a softer soundscape from them. It's not that the albums have lacked variety: "Holding Onto String Better Left To Fray" was an entirely different beast to "Disclaimer", which the band is most known for. Both were solid mainstream rock albums in their own right, showcasing a stubborn drive to stay within the confines of a square genre box and thus earning almost two decades worth of loyal fans at this point. Straight up rock, nothing more, nothing less.

Their seventh album "Poison The Parish" is the first Seether album not on a major label since their early years. It's also their heaviest and most crunchy album since their "Disclaimer" and "Disclaimer II" years. Vocalist Shaun Morgan recently publically commented feeling pressure from the label's side to write more radio-friendly songs on their past albums, which goes a long way explaining why "Poison The Parish" sounds the way it does. The record has a metallic tinge to its instrumentals, and Morgan's vocals have also taken a turn towards a scratchier style with the occasional break into a roughened scream.

It suits the band very well: songs like "I'll Survive" and "Stoke The Fire" are some of the best Seether songs we've heard in years. The crunchy alternative rock atmosphere takes you straight back to Nickelback's 2001 album "Silver Side Up" (you know, before they massively sold out) with parallels to Breaking Benjamin, 12 Stones, and of course, Smile Empty Soul's older material. That's not to say there aren't soft, balladic songs on the record, too. "Against The Wall", for instance, sounds a little bit like something Foo Fighters could write in collaboration with Staind given its melancholic vibe. And though you might cringe at such a reference, it actually sounds pretty good on record.

Drenched in new-found distortion and head-bangable riffs, "Poison The Parish" is exactly the kind of no-bullshit rock/post-grunge album that we need in 2017. Crisp production value but without dramatic overreach leaves behind a solid alternative rock expression that's equally perfect for sing alongs as it is for head bangs. Seether still isn't a particularly original band and many of the songs might be formulaic alternative rock, but does that really matter when the songs are as solid as, say, "Saviours"?

Download: Stoke The Fire, Something Else, I'll Survive, Saviours Let You Down
For the fans of: Smile Empty Soul, Staind, 12 Stones, Breaking Benjamin,
Listen: Facebook

Release date 12.05.2017
Canine Riot / Concord

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